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Thomas Tuchel Gives Brilliant Answer When Asked How Chelsea Will Get To Lille For Champions League Clash

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Thomas Tuchel Gives Brilliant Answer When Asked How Chelsea Will Get To Lille For Champions League Clash

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has given a brilliant response when asked how his team will travel to face Lille in the Champions League.

Chelsea take on the French club on Wednesday in the second leg of their last 16 tie, having won the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge 2-0.

Questions have been raised over how the Chelsea squad will get to the match, with the club’s travel budget currently restricted to just £20,000 per away game due to the recent sanctions against club owner Roman Abramovich.

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When asked about the difficult circumstances at the club, Tuchel joked that he may have to drive the squad to Lille himself.

“My last information is we have a plane and we can go by plane and come back by plane. If not we go by train, if not by bus, if not I will drive a seven-seater,” Tuchel said, following Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday.

“Honestly, I will do it. You can mark my words, I will do it to arrive there.

“If you’d asked me 20 or 30 years ago, to be in charge of a Champions League match what I was willing to do, I’d say: ‘Ok, where do I have to be and when?’

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“Why should this change? I will be there and we will be there. Of course, organisation wise, there are some negotiations going on and talks, but it doesn’t influence me.”

Abramovich was sanctioned by the British government as part of its response to Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

The Russian oligarch’s UK-based assets have been frozen, with Chelsea receiving a restrictive licence to allow the club to continue its 'football-related activities'.

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Chelsea are no longer able to sell or sign players, renew contracts, or sell tickets and merchandise - while the club must also operate with a reduced budget for home and away matches.

There are now doubts over whether the club can pay its reported monthly wage bill of £28m for the remainder of the season.

Tuchel, who is under contract with Chelsea until 2024, has confirmed he intends to remain at Stamford Bridge until at least the end of the campaign but admits he is unsure what the future holds, as Abramovich looks to find a buyer for the club.

Chelsea beat Newcastle 1-0 on Sunday (Image: PA)
Chelsea beat Newcastle 1-0 on Sunday (Image: PA)
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“There’s no doubt I’ll stay until the end of the season, absolutely,” added Tuchel.

“We just have to wait and we still have to go day by day because everything can change. But as you know, the situation is clear – the club’s for sale, and hopefully it will go through to sort things out and give us a perspective.

“But it’s pure speculation and I have no further information than you already have.

“And that’s what I meant with day by day, which is anyway a good way to live your life, and now we are forced to do it because there are some circumstances we cannot influence, and at some point it’s not so nice because we have no strings to pull and no actions to do to help.

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“But on the other side it gives you the freedom to focus on what we can influence, and this is our performances and to show the spirit.

“Because of course the focus is on the first team, our players and me. But Chelsea is much more than the first team of the Premier League – it’s a massive club with huge tradition.

“And there are hundreds of people who I’m pretty sure worry more than our players and staff, me included.

“And for them it’s important that we show the spirit and give them a bit of a distraction, some hope and show what we are about, and we are about football because we love the game.”

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Chelsea, Football, Premier League, Thomas Tuchel, Lille, Champions League

Rory O'Callaghan
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